Guest Blog – Go Ahead. Break the Dishes

Guest Blogger: Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer ®.


Photo credit: HeartWork Organizing

Do you know what one of the highest causes of clutter is? Caution.

We are afraid we won’t be prepared, so we keep extra gifts “just in case.”

We are afraid the new toaster might break, so we keep the old one in the basement.

We are afraid we will run out of paper goods, so we buy more, and can’t find the first batch.

We have closets full of clothes, tags still on, saved for the right occasion, that are outgrown or outdated.

We are afraid the “good toys” might get broken, so we don’t let the kids play with the pretty ceramic tea set.

Just recently, a client with young kids was working on getting the mudroom organized. She had a batch of toys in her mudroom that she was “saving” for the kids. She was afraid the little pottery tea set was going to get broken. But kids grow so fast, there was a very, very good chance that she would hide the tea set too long, and they would outgrow it before she found it again.

Most of us are truly blessed with abundance, and in this time of easy access to goods, there is very little reason to be overly cautious with our stuff. We would be much better off if, instead of being overly cautious with our goods, we made them work hard for us every day.

Use the good china even on a regular day. Give away the gifts. Use the pretty napkins.

And let the kids play with the ceramic tea set. Sure, they are bound to break it. Kids break things, after all. But it’s better to have the happy memories of fancy tea parties, than to have clutter in the mudroom, or wherever else you store the “good stuff”.

What have you been saving that has turned into clutter? Can you start using and enjoying it today?

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Guest Blog – Love Your Stuff: Break Up With Your Clutter

Guest Blogger: Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer ®.


Photo credit: HeartWork Organizing

We talk a lot about decluttering, but some people get absolutely stuck on the emotional side of letting go. Just the idea of removing your things from your home or office might give you the jitters. Did you know that there are some physiological reasons that decluttering is harder for some people than others? Your brain and your body play a big part in what your heart is telling you about your clutter. Fortunately, we have a lot of strategies we can use to help you break up with your clutter.

1. Always start your decluttering when you are well-rested, well-fed, well-hydrated, and not already stressed. You’ll make better and easier decisions about decluttering when your brain is feeling fine.

2. Just start. The IDEA can be overwhelming, but working on just one area or file at a time is do-able. Like exercise or learning any new skill, just getting started is usually the hardest part.

3. Find homes for things you can move on, but be careful not to search for the absolute one-and-only best and perfect home. You are not in the thrift business, but thrift companies are. They can find the person who needs it the most or the person who is willing to pay for it. If you do want to give something to a particular friend, make sure they want it, and then make an appointment to get it in the mail or deliver it to your friend. Find a “good enough” home.

4. Let others have a say, and respect their say. If an adult child is ready to part with some of their early artwork, it’s healthy to respect their wishes.

5. Don’t fall into the “it could be valuable” trap. Research actual value on public auction sites like eBay or consignment sites, and compare it against your time and effort to sell it (clean it up, photograph it, write the description, list it, watch the listing, collect the funds, move the funds to your bank account, mail the item, and deal with complaints or returns). Compare that against the actual cash value that you’ll get on taxes for charitable donations (bag it up, drop it off). Read more about how donating even your good stuff can bring you more value than you thought in The Economics of Purging .

6. Hire a professional organizer. You’ve probably tried some of these strategies, think some sound silly, and maybe don’t believe that some of them will work for you. A professional organizer has the experience, the training, the tools, and the physical stamina to help you get through the physical part of your project, and gently work through the emotional aspects as well. Rather than wanting you to throw things out, what we want you to do is find and make space for stuff you love. And through repeating the process and repeatedly using these strategies, we can not only help you be more successful with the project, we can help you be happier with the results. Visit NAPO to find a professional organizer near you.

These are just a few strategies that can help you break up with your clutter. Click here for at least 14 more decluttering strategies.

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How Can Bed Risers Help Me?

Bed risers can provide many different benefits for your health, comfort, and organization. If you want to know just how you can benefit from using bed risers, keep reading to find out.


Risers, which are often referred to as bed lifts, can provide several different health benefits:

· They add at least three inches and up to eight inches to your current bed frame, which can ease the discomfort of getting in and out of bed if you have knee problems or arthritis. If you are taller than the average person, either of these issues can make standing up from a lower position even more difficult.

· Those that suffer from acid reflux, sinus problems, sleep apnea, and other health conditions can benefit from using bed risers at the head of the bed to allow them to sleep in an inclined position. You do have to be careful when raising only the head of the bed to make sure there is plenty of support and stability to keep it from slipping or sliding down.

  • Some studies have shown that those undergoing chemotherapy treatments may have fewer incidences of vomiting and nausea after treatment when lying in an inclined position.


Bed risers can also provide non-medical benefits. While those long, under-bed storage boxes may provide some convenience, many items just don’t fit. Raising your bed will allow you to better utilize the space in your room, helping you get rid of unwanted clutter.

There are even types of furniture risers that have built-in electric outlets that allow you to charge your phone and plug in your alarm clock and other essentials. While not necessarily a necessity, who couldn’t benefit from additional outlets?

Bed risers provide many health benefits, but they also provided added convenience that can be important for those with smaller bedrooms.


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